The Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court in its resolution in the case EPL vs. “Aquadelf” Ltd for the first time has reached a conclusion that an environmental (charity, non-governmental) organization is entitled to represent before the court the environmental interest of the society and its separate members in order to protect the violated environmental human and citizen rights or in order to remedy breaches of the requirements of the environmental law.1
Pursuant to the Aarhus Convention, representatives of the public have a right to appeal violations of the national environmental law. As a whole, the convention provides for access to justice pursuant to its own provisions and by way of ensuring observance of the national environmental law.
“National environmental law” in the meaning of cl. 3 art. 9 of the Aarhus Convention covers all by-laws regulating relations in the area of environmental protection. Breach of provisions of these by-laws may become an object of judicial appeal according to art. 9 of the Aarhus Convention.
A right to a remedy of the violated constitutional right to a safe environment belongs to everyone and may be exercised both in person or through participation of a representative from the public, EPL being such in this case. Correspondingly, the Grand Chamber of the Supreme Court for the first time has resolved that EPL has a right to take legal action in order to remedy breaches of the requirements of the environmental law by the respondent.
The resolution of the SC in this case is a result of many years’ work to implement the provision of the Aarhus Convention in Ukraine.2